BOONE, N.C. — Faculty and staff within Appalachian State University’s Department of Health and Exercise Science, along with a University of North Carolina System colleague at North Carolina State University, received $130,492 in funding from the Reoxcyn Discoveries Group Inc. to determine if a 45-minute walk has the same effect as running for individuals whose diets are high in flavonoids.
The research team for the project consists of Dr. David Nieman, professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Health and Exercise Science; Dr. Colin Kay, associate professor of North Carolina State University’s Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science; Chris Capps, research technician within Appalachian’s Department of Health and Exercise Science; and Courtney Goodman and Jennifer McBride, both research scientists in Appalachian’s Department of Health and Exercise Science.
Nieman said a high intake, or more than 2.5 cups per day, of fruits and vegetables is recommended for good health and disease prevention.
“Many of the beneficial health effects related to a diet high in fruits and vegetables come from the purple, red, green, orange and other colorful pigment molecules called flavonoids,” he said.
According to Nieman, after consuming flavonoids, bacteria in the large intestine break them down into smaller molecules that can pass back into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body, producing healthful effects. He said participants in the project will consume a diet high in flavonoids for a total of two weeks prior to the study.
“Running improves the transfer of the small flavonoid molecules from the colon back into the body, and this study — for the first time — will determine if a 45-minute, brisk walk has a similar influence,” said Nieman.
Appalachian students will be involved with the project through internships.
About the Beaver College of Health Sciences
Appalachian's Beaver College of Health Sciences opened in 2010 as the result of a strategic university commitment to significantly enhance the health and quality of life for individuals, families and communities in North Carolina and beyond. In 2015, the college was named for an Appalachian alumnus and pioneer in the health care industry — Donald C. Beaver ’62 ’64 of Conover. The college offers 10 undergraduate degree programs and six graduate degree programs, which are organized into six departments: Communication Sciences and Disorders; Health and Exercise Science; Nursing; Nutrition and Health Care Management; Recreation Management and Physical Education; and Social Work. Learn more at https://healthsciences.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.